ARTA Wins at Sugo After Real Racing DQ
Tomoki Nojiri and Toshiki Oyu took their first win of the Super GT season at Sugo after benefiting from the post-race disqualification of Real Racing’s Honda NS-X GT.
Nobuharu Matsushita and Koudai Tsukakoshi finished first on the road after beating the ARTA Honda duo but lost the victory due to their car’s skid block being excessively worn.
The 84-lap race started with Nojiri launching away from pole position and building a lead of almost 10 seconds over Nissan driver Ronnie Quintarelli before pitting on lap 32.
Oyu swapped in for the reigning Super Formula champion but emerged from the pit cycle in second behind the Real Racing Honda of Tsukakoshi.
The race was then red-flagged on lap 40 after an accident at pit entry involving Naoki Yamamoto’s GT500 Honda and the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 of Teppei Natori. Yamamoto was checked and released from hospital after a heavy collision with the barriers.
When the race restarted, Oyu challenged Tsukakoshi and regained the lead into the first corner on lap 52.
However, Tsukakoshi remained in the frame and, despite pressure from third-placed Matsuda, successfully planted the Real Racing Honda down the inside of the No. 8 ARTA machine at Turn 1 with eight laps remaining.
Oyu’s ability to keep Matsuda at bay by 0.3 seconds meant that he and Nojiri were declared the winners after Tsukakoshi and Matsushita were penalized post-race.
The GT300 race was also decided by disqualification as the Team Upgarage Honda NSX GT3 Evo22 was thrown out for exceeding the minimum permitted ground clearance.
That handed the victory to the GreenBrave Toyota GR Supra GT300 driven by Hiroki Yoshida and Kohta Kawaai who take a 10-point lead into the Motegi season finale.
Guelinckx, Longin Set Up Final Round Showdown
Peter Guelinckx and Stienes Longin won the second of two Fanatec GT2 European Series races at Valencia to set up a final round showdown for the Pro-Am championship.
The drivers of the No. 1 PK Carsport Audi R8 LMS GT2 reduced Henry Hassid and Anthony Beltoise’s series lead to just two points with a pair of 50-minute races to go.
Guelinckx and Longin finished third on the road in Race 2 but were promoted to the top step of the podium once pit stop compensation times were added due to a red flag interrupting the pit window.
Ludovic Badey made the best start and overcame pole-sitter Beltoise to thrust Akkodis ASP’s Mercedes-AMG GT2 into an early lead in slippery track conditions.
Badey handed the Mercedes-AMG over to Jean-Luc Beaubelique during the red flag, which was caused by Mattia di Giusto spinning and stopping his LP Racing Audi.
Beaubelique then remained ahead of his rivals through a late safety car period, but the pit stop compensation time added 10 seconds to Akkodis ASP’s total.
Hassid and Beltoise also had compensation time to observe, as well as a 30-second penalty for Hassid not serving a drive-through that he earned for not entering the pit lane as instructed under the red flag.
The opening race of the weekend was red-flagged after 10 minutes when the No. 5 Ebimotors Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport Evo dropped oil around the circuit.
Upon resumption, Akkodis ASP made the most of its debuting driver lineup not needing to serve any pit stop success time. That enabled Badey to emerge in front of the other Pro-Am competitors before going on to beat Hassid and Beltoise by 3.5 seconds.
Other Racing Action
***Ceccato Racing stemmed Scuderia Baldini’s successful start to the Italian GT Endurance Championship season by winning last weekend’s two-hour race at Monza. Stefano Comandini, Marco Cassara and Alfred Nilsson teamed up for a 37-second margin of victory over the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari crew, while Scuderia Baldini’s Giancarlo Fisichella and Tommaso Mosca finished third. Results
***Tanart Sathienthirakul won both Thailand Super Series races at Singapore Marina Bay in a B-Quik Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II. The Thai driver was making his first GT3 appearance at the Grand Prix event and was racing the Audi for the first time.
***Porsche LMDh driver Kevin Estre finished sixth in the Sandown 500, on the first of two guest appearances with the Grove Racing team. Estre shared a Ford Mustang with Matthew Payne and will return to the Supercars Championship grid at next month’s Bathurst 1000.
***Hu Bo was confirmed as the Chinese GT Super Sprint Challenge champion after the planned final round of the season was canceled.
On this weekend: Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS (Sebring), European Le Mans Series (Spa), DTM, ADAC GT Masters (Red Bull Ring), Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS (Sepang), International GT Open (Monza), NLS (Round 8)